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What is Candida?

Candida is a yeast that is present in most people's digestive tract, women's vaginas and the mucous membranes of the mouth. Under certain situations, like taking antibiotics, this yeast can multiply and get out of control. When this happens you can suffer from a wide variety of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Allergies
  • Thrush
  • Cystitis
  • Skin rashes, acne, "eczema & psoriasis"
  • Mood changes, depression, anxiety
  • Bowel changes, to name a few

View candida products

How do you get a Candida overgrowth?

Taking antibiotics, hormones, steroid and cortisone drugs are the main reasons why most people suffer from a Candida overgrowth. This is because these drugs affect the balance between "the good and bad bacteria" found in the intestines.

When we take antibiotics into the body to help with illness, their action basically, is to fight the invaders and wipe them out. This action is non-specific, in that, not only does the medication wipe out the invaders, it also wipes out the good things that are needed for a healthy balanced system. It is mainly the bowel that is adversely affected by this invasion.

In the bowel we have a large population of "good bacteria". When we were born, provided we were breast-fed, the colostrum (which is the first part of breast milk) feeds this good bacteria and makes a plentiful amount of it. This helps to keep the balance between "good and bad" in the intestines.
However, if we have antibiotics, their action wipes out the invader, but this action is non- specific (broad spectrum) and wipes out the good bacteria as well. Each time we have another lot of antibiotics, this good bacteria is destroyed more and more. This lack of good bacteria leads to all kinds of health problems, such as:

Skin rashes
Mood changes
Poor nutrient absorption ability
A lowered immunity
General ill health

Candida has two quite separate identities in the body. One is when it is in its yeast form and the other is in its fungal form. In the yeast form it has no root, but in its fungal form it produces what are called rhizoids. These are long structures, similar to roots. Once in this form, the roots can actually penetrate through the mucous lining of the tissue, in which they are growing. When this happens, this substance then enters the blood stream.

Once the Candida has broken through the intestinal barrier, undigested proteins from the food eaten, as well as toxic wastes from the Candida infestation, may begin to circulate in the blood stream. If these substances reach the brain, there is a chance for the production of what has been termed as "brain allergies". These can result in a wide variety of mood and personality problems, ranging from depression, irritability and mood swings, to conditions, which look to all the world, like the symptoms of schizophrenia.

How can you get Candida back down to a manageable level for the body to cope with?

Strict dietary changes are needed. Most people who suffer from a Candida overgrowth crave the foods that encourage the overgrowth and find that these "forbidden" foods make up a large proportion of their diet.

As well as this, there are 2 supplements that need to be taken - A probiotic and also something to help to break down the over growth. The probiotics we like are Inner Health Plus, Inner Health Dairy Free or Primadophilus Optima.  The products we have to help break down the overgrowth are Kolorex, Oregano oil or CandAid. Often, a liver cleanse or a parasite cleanse is needed first. Candex contains the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as well as lactobacillus acidophilus & lactobacillus rhamnosus.  It has been especially formulated for women, to assist with the symptomatic relief of vaginal itch. 

Many people, who know their overgrowth is bad, will choose to use Enzymedica Candidase for 2 weeks first and then commence with their Kolorex, CandAid orOregano Oil. Taking Candidase can help to prevent die off symptoms, which happen as the yeast cell wall is disentegrated, the yeast cell dies and the dead cell releases its toxins. Taking Candidase helps to prevent the recirculation of these toxins, by the action of the protease on the dead yeast cell.

Which foods do you need to cut out of your diet when Candida is a problem?

The "forbidden foods" include:

Any foods containing added sugar and yeast and fermented foods and drinks.

All forms of added sugar. These are the ones that have been included as an added ingredient, not the naturally occurring ones that show in the Nutritional panel under carbohydrates. These can be written as sugar, glucose, sucrose, honey, fructose, maltose, corn syrup, maple sugar, maple syrup, invert sugar, molasses, malt dextrose, corn syrup, sorbitol, aspartame, saccharin. It does not matter if it is a healthy sugar, such as honey, or an artificial sugar such as NutraSweet. These sugars ferment in the gut & must be eliminated 100%. The sugar substitute Stevia can be used freely.

Limit the amount of dried fruit you have to an absolute minimum. Raisins, sultanas, dates & prunes are some of the worst, as these are very high in natural sugars. You will need to avoid some fresh fruits but particularly pineapple, all melons, banana, kiwifruit, grapes, as well as over-ripe fruit. Summer fruit can be a problem. Avoid mushrooms, fungus & nuts also.

You will need to start reading the labels on everything you buy. This is to make sure items do not contain sugar or anything else that is not permitted. This also includes medicines that are in a syrup (like cough mixture & pamol) and coated tablets & lozenges. If you must take antibiotics a 1 month course of a probiotic’s is essential, to replenish the beneficial bacteria depleted from this. Do remember there are natural alternatives to antibiotics that may work as effectively, so long as they are taken at the 1st sign of unwellness. The contraceptive pill is not recommended.

These foods which contain culture e.g. sour cream, cream cheese, all soft cheeses such as brie etc., but particularly blue cheeses should be avoided. This does not include unflavoured unsweetened yoghurt. The only “safe” cheese to eat for some people is a Mild or Edam & possibly a little goats feta. Plain cottage cheese should be ok for most people.

Avoid all fermented foods and foods containing yeast e.g. savoury yeast, vegemite, marmite, bovril, promite, natex, vecon, all soy sauces, vinegars, all alcohol and cider, bread, buns, cakes and doughnuts etc., unless you have made it yourself & know that it does not contain sugar or yeast. All foods containing monosodium glutamate, or MSG - written as Flavour or Flavour enhancer 621. This is contained on most foods that have a powdered flavouring –like flavoured rice crackers, flavoured potato chips, packet soup, KFC, on Chinese takeaways. If its yummy & salty, its probably MSG.

Avoid Oxo, bisto, maggi stock & any other stock or gravy mix. Anything labelled “Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein”, which can also be written as soy or vegetable broth. This is found in flavoured tins of tuna & salmon - like lemon pepper etc. You can only have tined fish in brine, water or oil.

Avoid sausages, sausage meat, bacon, luncheon sausage, pressed ham and other processed meats. These all contain either sugar or bread. Chicken is also a problem, as is eggs, unless they are organic or free range.

Wow! It seems like most of the food I am eating is not permitted. What can I eat?


Ideally you should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day. You may like to have Japanese Green tea. These all contain anti-fungal properties. Any other herbal tea should be OK, so long as it does not have added sugar. Most people can tolerate normal tea.

Coffee should not affect Candida unless sugar is added. You can have milk in these beverages if you want to.

Our suggested menu for candida sufferers...

Fruit salad consisting of apple, berries, pear & NZ orange (or other low GI fruits, most stone fruit fit into this category as they are lower in naturally occurring sugars, however do not eat when over ripe), or stewed fruit, such as apple with plain unsweetened yoghurt. Spices like cinnamon or coconut can be added to create more flavour. Healtheries puffed grains, such as Puffed Millet, Kamut etc. Whole oat Porridge. You could make your own Muesli that does not have sugar or honey. Tahini or seeds, such as sesame, pumpkin or sunflower, can be added to breakfast. Make Leanne’s bread & have toast with sardines; a poached egg; avocado; tomato; hummus etc or a tiny bit of St Dalfours jam as a treat. Choose whole grains only like rye/spelt not processed / refined grains as these will encourage yeast overgrowth in the body. You could make a Smoothie by adding berries, Red 8 Protein Powder, milk or water, yoghurt and tahini & blending these together.

Dovedale breads (all yeast & sugar free, except for their Gluten free range) lightly toasted with avocado, tomato, sprouts, lettuce, hummus, tuna or salmon etc. Leanne has a yeast free bread recipe, please ask for a copy. Rhyvita or Multigrain corn thins with salad, hummus, tuna. Roast eggplant, courgette, kumara, pumpkin, yams, seeds, a little fetta etc with salad greens. Cold wholegrain pasta salad (such as spelt) with tomato, avocado, garlic, basil, mint, parsley, with a lemon & oil dressing. Corn on the cob with salad. A small portion of Basmati rice with stir-fried vegies. Plain tuna or salmon from a tin, with salad & avocado wrapped in a Mountain bread rye wrap which is yeast free (Farrah Wraps are good). Hot spelt or rye pasta with a tomato sauce, made from onion, garlic, oregano, sweet basil & whole tinned tomatoes. Vegetable soup made with garlic, onion, leek, red lentils, kumara, green beans, broccoli, carrot & grated courgette, you could add organic chicken or lamb if you like. Pikelets, scones or pancakes from the Edmonds cook book. Omit added sugar.

Salad, consisting of avocado, lettuce, capsicum, celery, carrots, tomato etc with tinned salmon or tuna and an egg. Vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, beans, spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc with a piece of fish or lean meat. A small portion of basmati rice with a homemade curry (coconut milk is fine to use) that does not contain yeast or sugar. Any home made soup is fine providing the stock is yeast & MSG free (best if homemade stock). Make a homemade pizza using roast vegetables and a small amount of feta, you could use Mountain bread as a base or make your own with wholemeal (spelt) flour using the scone recipe from The Edmonds Cookbook. Use lots of garlic, ginger, onion, basil, coriander, chilli and Braggs liquid amino to flavour stir fries. Fresh packets of herbs, spices & curry powder is fine.

If you eat meat, choose fresh cuts, such as beef, lamb or fish. (Luncheon sausage, bacon or any other processed meats are not permitted). Chicken is a problem unless it is organic.

If vegetarian, or even if not, you could have egg dishes, such as frittata or omelette with grated courgette and carrot, broccoli, beans and kumara. Eggs must be organic, such as Frenz. Or you could have beans, legumes or soy products (make sure these have not been fermented). Make homemade falafel, hummus & salad wraps. Corn fritters. Potato & fish cakes. Use your imagination.

There are plenty of foods you can have when Candida is a problem. These are the ones I know of, but I'm sure there are plenty more. Spend some time in your supermarket and check the labels. If you find anything else that is permitted, please let me know so I can add it to the list.
If you follow this advice for a minimum of 4-6 weeks and still find your symptoms have not improved, we will need to look at other aspects, such as fruit, but particularly over-ripe fruit, dairy products, reheated foods and using your compost heap or digging in your garden. These can all affect a chronic candida sufferer.

Please Note: Leanne James is not stating that foods suggested on this sheet are necessarily healthy, but they could be suitable alternatives for Candida sufferers.

Nutritional and Herbal support used against Candidiasis includes:

Kolorex - A NZ native herbal formula with broad spectrum anti-fungal action.

CandAid - contains a blend of herbs & other ingredients known for their anti-fungal activity. Formulated to help restore a healthy balance in the intestines in conjunction with a sugar and yeast free diet.

Oregano Oil - Inhibits the growth of candida albicans, as well as E.Coli and some other pathogens.

Candex - Contains Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as well as 2 other probiotic strains, specifically used in urogenital problems in women.  It can also be used by men very effectively too. 

Vitamin B Complex 100 - This is needed for growth, function and repair of all cells in body.

Advanced Antioxidant Formula - Helps support the weakened immune system and helps with liver support.

Inner Health Plus - Essential friendly bacteria, that is needed to repopulate the gastrointestinal tract.

Colostrum - Helps feed the friendly bacteria and heal the gastrointestinal tract. Restores the bowel to optimum functioning.

For the external treatment of candidasis

While you are treating your overgrowth internally, by changing your diet, taking a probiotic and something to help to breakdown the overgrowth, there are products you could try for treating external symptoms of candidiasis. These include

Sabun Soap - A traditionally made soap, from Syria. Made with salt, laurel or bay leaf extract and olive oil. If you haven't tried this, we highly recommend it. Our customers love it and find it hard to use other "soaps"once they have tried sabun.

100% Pure Emu oil - Emu Spirit Emu's live through a breeding cycle, which potenised their oil, giving this liquid gold it powerful anti inflammatory properties.  Emu Spirit breed their own Emus and process the oil at their premesis.  The oil can be used externally as well as taken off the spoon, for its anti inflammatory effect.

Skin Peace Lotion - From Malcolm Harker, this popular lotion for soothing relief from itchy skin problems. This plant based formula leaves skin feeling cool and moisturised. Helps relieve itching. Can provide relief from the rash of hives, eczema, psoriasis and after shaving.

Mebo Anti Itch Cream - MEBO anti itch helps the natural repair of cracked, chafed or dry scaly skin. It works by assisting the natural repair of cracked or chafed skin, by aiding the natural repair of nerve endings in the skin tissue and by moisturising the skin.

Tea tree soap and body wash - Tea tree oil offers anti-fungal, and anti-septic properties.  If you have a skin problem that needs these actions, then these Thursday Plantation products could be good options for you.

Kolorex cream - A New zealand made and formulated cream, for the symptoms of thrush.  Using the NZ native horopito, with proven anti fungal properties.  Also available in this range is the Foot & Toe cream, for athletes foot and toe nail problems.

Some more points on Candidiasis:

  • Eat vegetables, fish, brown rice, oat, bran, live yoghurt. Try to keep the diet simple and as natural as possible.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water a day.
  • Avoid sugar, yeast, aged and fancy cheese, chocolate, alcohol, ham, honey, pickles, nut butters, mushrooms, soy sauce, vinegar and foods containing MSG. These all encourage the growth of the yeast.
  • Avoid antibiotics, oral contraceptives and corticosteroids if possible until your condition improves. Oral contraceptives upset the balance of organisms in the body.
  • If you have had chronic and/or unusually persistent candida infections, consult a health care provider.


Note. If you know you have an intolerance or allergy to any of the suggested foods, do not consume them.

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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